Theuns Stofberg

Marthinus Theunis Steyn 'Theuns' Stofberg was the captain of the South Africa national rugby union team (Springboks) for four tests between 1980 and 1984.[1] He is remembered for his speed and his size, both remarkable for a flank at that time.[citation needed]

Theuns Stofberg
Birth nameMarthinus Theunis Steyn Stofberg
Date of birth (1955-06-06) June 6, 1955 (age 65)
Place of birthVilliers, Free State
Height6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight239 lb (108 kg; 17 st 1 lb)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Flanker, Lock
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Shimlas ()
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
1976
1980
1983
Orange Free State
Northern Transvaal
Western Province
()
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1976–1984 South Africa 21 (30)

Youth and early careerEdit

He was born Marthinus Theunis Steyn Stofberg (named after the President of the Orange Free State), in Villiers, Free State on 6 June 1955. He attended school at Grey College in Bloemfontein, one of the strongholds in South African rugby. He started his provincial career playing for Free State while he was still studying at the University of the Free State. When he was called up for his conscription he was moved to Pretoria where he started playing for Northern Transvaal, currently called the Blue Bulls. It was during this time that he went from strength to strength cementing his place in the national side as flanker.

CareerEdit

He played his first test on the 14 August 1976 against New Zealand at Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein at the age of 21. The Springboks lost the test 9-15.

He played in 21 tests and scored 6 tries during this time. His first test as captain was against the South American Jaguars on the 18 October 1980 in Montevideo where the Springboks won 22-13. His biggest test as a captain was leading the Springbok side, after the regular captain Wynand Claassen was injured, in the first test of the infamous 1981 Springbok Tour of New Zealand. The tour was disrupted by protesters during the matches and is now seen as one of the most important tours in rugby history.[citation needed] Stofberg did not play in the last of the three test series, which was stopped momentarily due to a light airplane throwing flour bombs, due to a knee injury that would ultimately end his career.

Stofberg left Northern Transvaal in 1982 and moved to their arch-rivals Western Province Rugby Union where he settled and opened a physiotherapy practice. Stofberg captained his last two international tests against England in 1984, winning both and scoring a try in the second test. After yet another series setback due a knee injury he retired from rugby in 1984 at the age of 29. He is the only player in history to have won the Currie Cup with three different teams. He won titles with Free State (1976), Northern Transvaal (1979 and 1980) and Western Province (1982 and 1983). In total he played 7 finals, winning 4 ('76, '80, '82 & '83) and drawing one (1980).

Test historyEdit

No. Opposition Result (SA 1st) Position Tries Date Venue
1.   New Zealand 9–15 Flank 14 August 1976 Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
2.   New Zealand 15–10 Flank 4 September 1976 Newlands, Cape Town
3. World XV 45–24 Flank 2 27 August 1977 Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
4.   South American Jaguars 24–9 Flank 26 April 1980 Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
5.   South American Jaguars 18–9 Flank 3 May 1980 Kings Park Stadium, Durban
6.   British Lions 26–22 Flank 31 May 1980 Newlands, Cape Town
7.   British Lions 26–19 Flank 1 14 June 1980 Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
8.   British Lions 12–10 Flank 28 June 1980 Boet Erasmus Stadium, Port Elizabeth
9.   British Lions 13–17 Flank 1 12 July 1980 Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
10.   South American Jaguars 22–13 Flank (c) 1 18 October 1980 Wanderers Club, Montevideo
11.   South American Jaguars 30–16 Flank 25 October 1980 Prince of Wales Country Club, Santiago
12.   France 37–15 Flank 1 8 November 1980 Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
13.   Ireland 23–15 Flank 30 May 1981 Newlands, Cape Town
14.   Ireland 12–10 Flank 6 June 1981 Kings Park Stadium, Durban
15.   New Zealand 9–14 Flank (c) 15 August 1981 Lancaster Park, Christchurch
16.   New Zealand 24–12 Flank 29 August 1981 Athletic Park, Wellington
17.   United States 38–7 Flank 20 September 1981 Owl Creek Polo ground, Glenville, New York
18.   South American Jaguars 50–18 Lock 27 March 1982 Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
19.   South American Jaguars 12–21 Lock 3 April 1982 Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
20.   England 33–15 Flank (c) 2 June 1984 Boet Erasmus Stadium, Port Elizabeth
21.   England 35–9 Flank (c) 9 June 1984 Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg

PersonalEdit

He lives in Stellenbosch today where he has a physiotherapy practice.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "SA Rugby Player Profile – Theuns Stofberg". South African Rugby Union. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Morne du Plessis
Springbok Captain
1980, 1981, 1984
Succeeded by
Wynand Claassen